A pipette (sometimes spelled pipet) is a laboratory tool commonly used in chemistry, biology and medicine to transport a measured volume of liquid, often as a media dispenser. Pipettes come in several designs for various purposes with differing levels of accuracy and precision, from single piece glass pipettes to more complex adjustable or electronic pipettes. Many pipette types work by creating a partial vacuum above the liquid-holding chamber and selectively releasing this vacuum to draw up and dispense liquid. Measurement accuracy varies greatly depending on the style.
The first simple pipettes were made in glass, such as Pasteur pipettes. Large pipettes continue to be made in glass; others are made in squeezable plastic for situations where an exact volume is not required.
The first micropipette was patented in 1957 by Dr Heinrich Schnitger (Marburg, Germany). The founder of the company Eppendorf, Dr. Heinrich Netheler, inherited the rights and started the commercial production of micropipettes in 1961. The adjustable micropipette is a Wisconsin invention developed through interactions among several people, primarily inventor Warren Gilson and Henry Lardy, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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